Naked In Wal-Mart.

A couple weeks ago, I took Alice with me to Wal-Mart to buy all the supplies Tom would need for Kindergarten.

(!!!)

I sat her in the cart, and proceeded to go up and down the school supply section armed with the list and a determination to score all 24 glue sticks, yellow spiral-bound notebooks, and green plastic folders with brads that were needed.

After we were done with the school supplies, we then trekked all over the super store to get the antibacterial wipes, the Clorox, the hand soap, the baby wipes, and the special requested copy paper, because I am a suck up.

After my cart was full of all things Kindergarten-related, I realized I’d forgotten one thing, and that it was (of course!) on the other side of the store.

So as I’m walking up another full aisle of Wal-Mart, to get that one. last. thing. Alice says loudly…

“I DON’T HAVE ANY PANTIES ON!!  I’M NAKED IN THE STORE!!!”

Y’all.

Me (quiet-sort-of-loud-whisper): “What?!  Why are you saying that?  Of course you have panties on!”

Alice (proving it):  “No I don’t!”

She didn’t.

And then I died.

I had walked all over that huge store. For an hour. With my child in a short dress. Sitting in that cart.  NO PANTIES.

In Wal-Mart.

Chandler Bing (probably): “Could you BE any more Wal-Mart?” #friends

No. No we could not.

She didn’t say it in the beginning of this trip.  You know, when I could’ve…bought panties for the little stinker who insists on taking them off whenever!

Nope. Full on HOUR LATER.

So…I just took her out of the cart.  Told her to walk (you know, instead of flashing EVERYONE in the school aisle!) to the check-out and to please, please, PLEASE not pull up her dress.  Or speak.

She did.

Check-out was mercifully uneventful and we made it to the car without arrest.

Remember that time Kevin took Tom to school with no pants?

Yeah.  Well, apparently it’s contagious!

Enjoy the crayons, Tom!

Your naked bottomed little sis picked them out! ;)

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Georgia State Parks: Watson Mill Bridge State Park.

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June park: Watson Mill Bridge State Park.

This was the first month that I was a little bit challenged when it came to working our monthly state park visit into our schedule.

And that’s why I’m so glad we have this plan!

Because if I didn’t have this plan to stick to (according to me) then we probably wouldn’t have gone to Watson Mill Bridge State Park — and that would mean missing out on such a wonderful state park!

I am so, so happy we did this one!

It was really amazing, right up our alley, and a great one to visit in the warm summer months!

GETTING THERE.

We headed out to this state park after my nephew’s 4th birthday party that morning.  My sister’s family lives about 40 minutes from this park (in Athens), so that wasn’t bad at all!  We also stopped back by her house on the way home and had dinner with them to break it up — which was great for us.  But this state park is worth the visit, no matter where you live.

WHAT WE DID.

I know you’re going to think I’m weird, but I honestly did not realize until we were there, that Watson Mill Bridge was still a working covered bridge that you actually drove through.  Ha!  It was amazing!!  So very, very neat.  It’s the longest wooden covered bridge in Georgia (229 feet) and was just very impressive.  So beautiful!

We arrived in the afternoon (maybe around 2:30 p.m.) and found parking right away.  We put the kids in their suits (I just did it in the car) and walked to the water, which was right next to the lot.  Several families were having picnics, and there were quite a few families in the water, but I wouldn’t call it “crowded” or anything.  I just thought it was great so many people were out there enjoying it!

And it was so great!  The only warning I would give, is that the rocks were super slippery if you weren’t on the ones that had moss.  The mossy ones were good.  The others were so slick, it was scary!  I was scared to hold Alice, in case I fell!  But once we got that figured out, and found a good place to “set up” we were good.  Alice found a  little waterfall she loved.  Tom found a “deep” pool to swim in.  I found a crayfish that I didn’t realize *was* a crayfish, and was really scared of.  And Kevin found an old high school buddy to catch up with.  It was great.

I loved that you could walk right up to the “waterfall” at the bridge.  And I loved that there was so much to see. The kids just adored it.

After we’d been there about 90 minutes, it started to get really windy and the thunder sounded close — so we decided to head back out.

But I KNOW this is one we will visit again this year.  It was just really, really great.

MY VOTE.

This one is ranked high for me.  I loved the activity of swimming and exploring the rocks.  It was the perfect thing to do on a summer day, with the most beautiful backdrop.  LOVED!

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Read about our other Georgia State Park adventures so far this year!

January park: Sweetwater Creek State Park.
February park: FDR State Park.
March park: Providence Canyon State Park
April park: George L. Smith State Park
May park: Tallulah Gorge State Park

Follow our adventures on Instagram! #12parksin2015

Posted in Baby Girl, Family, Georgia Outdoors, Georgia State Parks, Kevin, Motherhood, Tom, Travel | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Jekyll Island.

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We were in Jekyll Island last week for our annual family vacation.

I love that place.  I just LOVELOVELOVE it!

It’s really just a magical place.  So wonderful and fun.  So, so perfect.

We…

Played in the ocean for hours, went on a dolphin tour, hung out with Grandma and PawPaw and our cousins and some aunts and uncles, grilled out with family, visited the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, went to a water park, visited Driftwood Beach, went on a bike ride, flew a kite, collected 100 sand dollars (and threw them back!), walked around the Millionaire’s Village, Tom fell in love with the beach even more, Kevin ate crab legs, and one evening at dinner — Alice fell asleep in my arms.

It was the best of times.

I have a slideshow of photos to prove it.

 

I’m ready to go back.

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Posted in Baby Girl, Family, Georgia Outdoors, Kevin, Motherhood, Tom, Travel | 1 Comment

Caving At Cloudland.

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I’m backtracking, because I cannot not tell you about this most awesome adventure my Mom and I had this year!

My Mom’s birthday is in April, and this year to celebrate, she and I went caving at Cloudland Canyon State Park.

(This does not count as April’s state park visit, because just my Mom was with me.  But I’d love to come back with my little family, because it takes my breath away with how beautiful it is.)

So! For this adventure, I signed us up for a 2-hour tour with Georgia Girl Guides.

I read everything on their website. I explained it all to my mom and asked her if she would do it with me.  She (of course) said YES.  And then we did it.

And it was THE. BEST. EVER.

Even though I felt prepared after everything I read, and even though I expected to really, really love it — it surpassed my expectations.

I just was IN LOVE with it.

Here’s the deal: They tell you to wear clothes and shoes that you don’t mind getting really wet and really muddy.  They tell you to bring a change of clothes.  They supply you with knee pads, helmet with a light, and gloves.  And they explain everything to you that you see.

It is amazing.

The girls that run this company are awesome. I felt like they were my friends.  We had cool people in our group (a family with a couple teenagers) and it just made for an awesome experience.  I was so happy my mom was there to experience this with me.

We saw bats!

(Kate fact: I like bats a lot.  They eat mosquitoes. They are my friends.)

We trekked through knee-high cold water.  This surprised me!  For some reason, I thought it would be like…ankle-deep?  No.  You pretty much enter the cave, and then jump in to cold water and walk through it for a while.  There are parts of the tour that are not in water, but I think about half is.

The cave is so beautiful and amazing.  Just something I never dreamed I’d see.  It was awesome!

And toward the end of the tour, our guides had us sit down and we all turned off our lights.

Y’all?

I have never “seen” dark like that before.

Such a cool experience all around.

I truly, truly cannot wait to do it again.

Who’s with me?

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Before.

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That hole is what we climbed out of at the end of the tour. Crazy!

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Entering the cave.

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I had my iPhone in a waterproof case on this trip — so my pics look like…they were taken with an iPhone. ;)  Still amazing, though, right?!

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That’s a cluster of about 7 bats sleeping together.

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The formations at the top right were called “cave bacon” because it looks like…bacon strips!

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Walking through water.

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This was Mom after she did a “challenge.”  You didn’t have to do this, but some things were a little more challenging and they gave you the option.  We did all of them!  This one was crazy — you had to seriously angle your head a certain way to squeeze through a spot that looked impossible.  But we did it!  So cool.  So impressed with my mom.

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She did it!

Isn’t my mom rad?

I know.

Next year I think I owe her a spa experience. ;)

Can’t wait.

Posted in Family, Georgia Outdoors, Georgia State Parks, Travel | 2 Comments

Cheered Up.

Monday, I got a book to read when we go to the beach next week — a definite beachy read (The Matchmaker by Elin Hilderbrand).

But then I couldn’t help myself and decided to start reading it right away.

And then I finished it yesterday.

(Oops.)

Anyway, toward the end, there was a sad part and I started to cry.

(I’m a sap.)

Alice: “What’s wrong, Mommy?”

Me: “Oh! Nothing. This is just a sad book I’m reading.”

And then what happened next was the sweetest bit of cheering up I’ve ever had.

Alice immediately snatched the book out of my hands and snapped it shut.

Then she wiped a tear off my face.

Then she ran into her playroom, brought out her bin of instruments and announced she was going to play me song.

She banged the drums, the piano, and handed me a shaker and played her little heart out.

“Are you happy now, Mommy?” she asked.

Yes.

I’m very, very happy now, Alice.

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Posted in Baby Girl, Motherhood | 1 Comment

Gymnastics and Soccer.

This Spring, Tom and Alice each had an activity.

Tom decided he wanted to do soccer again, even though his mom kept saying, “Are you sure you don’t want to try T-ball?”  Ha!

He was sure, and he had a great time!

He was on a team with his buddies again, and it was a blast.

He did really well this year.  Totally chased the ball.  Sometimes kicked it.

I mean, he pretended he was a velociraptor while doing it (complete with noises), but he did it!

In Pre-K drama, the two loves of his Pre-K life were on the same team (different from Tom’s), but that didn’t seem to bother anyone involved at all.

Typical Saturday morning during practice:

Ella: “Hey, Thomas!”

Tom: “Hey. How are you doing?”

Ella: “Good!”

Ashley: *shyly waves*

Tom: “Hey, Ashley!!”

So. Awesome.

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Alice had gymnastics this spring.

She went to a gymnastics party in January, and was hooked after that.

She loves it!

It was her idea to get a leotard to wear to her class.

No one else wears one. Just Alice.  She just wants to fit the part!

She loves doing her tricks and the balance beam.

She started off in a class for 2.5 year olds, and she loved that one.  She always participated and loved everything about it.

After she turned three, we moved her to a more independent 3 year old class.  I was still there, but she was supposed to do more stuff without me.

That didn’t work so well for her.  She really wanted to do her own thing — with me — and not the class.

So there you have it!  Alice wants to do gymnastics her way! Shocking. :)

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And finally, PLEASE don’t give Alice any awards in the future. She hates being awesome.

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Posted in Baby Girl, Motherhood, Tom | 2 Comments

Tom’s Pre-K Graduation.

Tom graduated from Pre-K last week.

He is a preschool graduate!  A future Kindergartner!

I remember thinking when people told me that signing your child up for kindergarten was a major milestone, I understood what they meant, but I didn’t really understand all the feelings that go along with that.

In my case, after I registered Tom for kindergarten, I went to my car and CRIED.

Like, poor Alice was like, “Are you okay Mommy?  Are those happy tears?”  Ha!

But after that little display, I felt fine about him “graduating” preschool.

Except when we arrived at graduation that day, and I caught a glimpse of the kids in their little caps and gowns, I CRIED again!

I couldn’t help it!  As soon as I saw them, I could immediately picture them graduating high school and leaving me forever, because I am crazy.

Kevin said, “Are you crying?  At a preschool graduation?!”

Y’all. I’ve got no family understanding of the crisis that is TOM GRADUATING PRE-K.

So! Tom graduated Pre-K.

He marched in to the graduation music.  He stood up and did all the movements to the songs the other kids were singing.  He accepted his diploma, so happy to see it had a dinosaur on it.  He posed for pictures with his teacher, his family, his classmates and his best friends.  He ate cake afterwards.  And probably really didn’t exactly know what was going on, but it was great.  It was a really great day.  And I really didn’t cry that much.

I have loved our preschool for Tom. His teachers and friends have been so great, and I’m so happy he has had such fun and memorable experiences there.  He has learned so much, and I am so thankful for this school.  It’s probably what makes me so anxious about next year.  How will a school ever live up to this sweet place? It has been the greatest.

He is so excited about going to kindergarten and going to a “big kid” school.  So. Excited.

But I know that he has loved, loved, loved his preschool.

He will miss it.  And I will miss him being there.

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Please enjoy the hilariousness that is Tom not singing, but participating nonetheless, in this performance…

Posted in Motherhood, Tom | 2 Comments